'They/them' assaults Utah mayor during city council meeting after reporter mother called out over hit pieces

Linnea Pugmire, 31, who uses they/them pronouns, has been charged with two third-degree felony counts of threatening elected officials and one count of assault.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
The Republican Mayor of Orem, Utah, was physically attacked outside of a city council meeting on Tuesday by an "unhinged" woman who took issue after he had called out her reporter mother for writing unfavorable articles about his personal life during the meeting.

David Young, the Mayor of Orem, was allegedly punched in the face and spit on by Linnea Pugmire, 31, who has been charged with two third-degree felony counts of threatening elected officials and one count of assault, according to Fox13 who obtained video of the incident.

Pugmire, who uses they/them pronouns, reportedly confronted Young following the meeting while he was standing with a group of people outside of City Hall.

"Do you know who I am?" Pugmire reportedly asked Young before attacking him and another individual in the group, according to video footage.

Before the confrontation, Young addressed the city council about multiple articles written by Genelle Pugmire of the Daily Herald, which alleged that he was "embroiled in a lawsuit that hit him and his son Shawn Young with a $1 million judgment in 2022."

"So I want to make some comments about a news article that Genelle Pugmire of the Daily Herald put on the front page of her newspaper last weekend. Now this non-news event was pushed to front page status on their highest readership weekend paper," Young said during the meeting.

"Now I wouldn't make a big deal about this except it just keeps happening and happening and this keeps coming out of this paper and we just have to keep going along, and it's just not right, and I just wanted to give you a few examples to help us understand this is not an isolated occurrence," he explained.

After reading the headlines of several of the pieces published in the Herald, Young criticized Genelle Pugmire for exaggerating the severity of the stories.

Outside of City Hall, Young was able to piece together that Linnea was the reporter's daughter and took ownership of his comments during the meeting.

"I know what I did tonight," Young said to Pugmire. "I'm sick and tired of being pushed around by your mother, I do now (know who you are) you look the same, I recognize you, you're disgusting."

Other individuals in the group chimed in and told Pugmire that her mother was fabricating stories about Young, but Pugmire asserted that she was just "doing her job."

The group, confronted by Pugmire, told them that their mother was making up things about the mayor, but Pugmire disagreed and claimed their mother was “doing her job.”

"Your mom went over the top in this article, she's gone over the top on every article I pulled out," Young said in a heated exchange with Pugmire. "But the one this weekend where she talked about my wife."

Tensions escalated which caused Pugmire to allegedly punch Young in the face before swinging at a woman standing next to him.

"She charges towards me, she spits on me, she spits and hits the girl next to me," Young told Fox13. "Obviously, when that happened, I wasn't really happy about it, so I pushed her to try to get her away from us."

"For elected officials in general, this should not be a thing," he continued. "They should be able to speak, to have discussions, and have it be civil debate without fear of having someone jump out of a car and attack them."

According to arrest documents, Pugmire told police she was upset with Young "over personal concerns with family," the outlet reports.

Young allegedly threatened to take legal action against Pugmire's mother, saying "She likes to write about court, she's gonna find out about court."

Mayor Young released a statement following the attack which reads: "When it comes to advocating for Orem families and safeguarding our city, I will not be bullied or intimidated by radical groups who want to push their high-density, anti-family, and anti-police agenda."

"We will continue to stand against these radical proposals in Orem, and I will not allow this unfortunate incident to divert our focus from our crucial Council agenda. Our goal remains steadfast: creating an environment where families can thrive. We will continue to fight against the effort to bring the proposed 10,000 apartments on State Street back into the conversation while maintaining low taxes and fees and supporting our dedicated law enforcement."

"My intention in bringing to light the long-standing issues with the Daily Herald's reporting was to encourage people to rise above the divineness and misinformation that is overshadowing the amazing work of the City Council. As a community, we are better than this and I hope this incident will further serve as a wakeup call for the need for more responsible journalism and for each of us to work together with greater civility and unity."

Pugmire was arrested and booked into Utah County Jail on multiple charges that include two third-degree felony counts of threatening elected officials and one count of assault, the outlet reports.

According to Linnea Pugmire's Instagram account, which has been deactivated, Pugmire had recently undergone a sex change at LDS Hospital in which she had her breasts removed to transition from male to female.

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